Lewis Carroll’s manuscript of “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” [x]
“I do not know if ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was an original story — I was, at least, no conscious imitator in writing it — but I do know that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books have appeared, on identically the same pattern. The path I timidly explored believing myself to be ‘the first that ever burst into that silent sea’ — is now a beaten high-road: all the way-side flowers have long ago been trampled into the dust: and it would be courting disaster for me to attempt that style again.”
(voynich - photo by Bob With @ flickr) Article from MotherNature Network
Named after the Polish-American antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912, the Voynich Manuscript is a detailed 240-page book written in a language or script that is completely unknown. Its pages are also filled with colorful drawings of strange diagrams, odd events and plants that do not seem to match any known species, adding to the intrigue of the document and the difficulty of deciphering it. The original author of the manuscript remains unknown, but carbon dating has revealed that its pages were made sometime between 1404 and 1438. It has been called “the world’s most mysterious manuscript.”
Theories abound about the origin and nature of the manuscript. Some believe it was meant to be a pharmacopoeia, to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine. Many of the pictures of herbs and plants hint that it many have been some kind of textbook for an alchemist. The fact that many diagrams appear to be of astronomical origin, combined with the unidentifiable biological drawings, has even led some fanciful theorists to propose that the book may have an alien origin.
One thing most theorists agree on is that the book is unlikely to be a hoax, given the amount of time, money and detail that would have been required to make it.
Pages from Lady Jane Grey’s Prayer Book, with a message written to Sir John Bridges, Lieutenant of the Tower, by her before her execution.
Forasmutche as you have desired so simple a weman to wrighte in so worthye a booke (good) Mayster Leaftaunte [Lieutenant] therefore I shall as a frende desyre you and as a Christian requer [require] you to call uppon god to encline youre harte to his lawes to quicken you in his waye and not to take the worde of trewethe utterlye oute of youre mouthe howe styll to dye that by deathe you maye purchase eternall life and remembre howe the ende of Mathusael [Methuselah] whoe as we reade in the Scriptures was the longeste lived that was of a manne died at the laste for as the Precher sayethe there is a tyme to be borne and a tyme to dye and the daye of deathe is better than the daye of oure birthe youres as the lorde knoweth as a frende Jane Duddeley’
Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Jane and those who engineered her rise to the monarchy were executed after Mary I was declared the rightful queen.